In a previous post, we talked about how Cigna had terminated their agreement with Anthem and filed suit against the major insurer; however, that has all now changed.
Cigna has now changed its stance on the merger.
The company has now elected to side with the insurer, Anthem, and has requested that the deal blocking be overturned by the court.
Originally, Cigna filed suit against Anthem with the desire to have their merger deal legally terminated and requested $14 billion be paid in damages. Immediately following the suit, Anthem requested the court issue a restraining order so that Cigna could not terminate the original merger. A court in Delaware granted the request by Anthem.
It is unknown as to why Cigna has elected to change its stance on the merger. In the past few weeks, Cigna has refused Anthem’s offer for an extension on the contract and has filed the suit against the company. Now, it is suddenly switching its strategy. The official oral argument for this situation is set to start on the 24th of March.
The contract-based deadline between Cigna and Anthem is the 30th of April. The original proposal for the merger was made public in the year of 2015; however, since that time, both companies have been faced with a high level of scrutiny from the government – on both the state and federal level. In July 2016, the Department of Justice stepped in and filed a lawsuit to block the merger.
A judge of the federal court system ruled in favor of the motion presented by the Department of Justice. The ruling stated that if the merger were to occur, it would likely result in a high level of expense for consumers. Additionally, the competition would no longer exist between two of the largest insurers in the nation.
In fact, the agreement and the successful implementation of the merger of Cigna and Anthem would result in the development of the single-largest insurer payer within the entire nation. Unfortunately, it now seems that politics is entering into the picture. As a result, this interference could sway the negotiations associated with the merger.
In essence, allowing this merger to push forward would be an adjudication of anticompetitive behavior within the federal court system. Not only does this result in an unfavorable response among insurers and practitioners, but, it poses an immense risk to all of the consumers/patients involved. Aetna and Humana had some issues with their merger; however, it was based on antitrust. The issue was resolved and the case was backed by facts.
The facts of the Cigna/Anthem merger are much different. Most physical therapists, insurers, and patients are pushing for the judgement to remain the same in this case – as put forth by Judge Jackson. The situation seems to be changing consistently. Researchers are still struggling to uncover the motivation for the stance-switch as displayed by Cigna.
To keep track of this story and other trends, be sure to visit our blog today at: http://coloradophysicaltherapynetwork.com/blog/